The image of 2020 as a dumpster on fire is everywhere. This, for example. is a sticker for sale.
But somehow I feel 2020 as a bittersweet time. There were so many obituary moments, so many loves lost. At the same time... I can help but feel that it was a time for revelations and revolutions, like the ones you have when you are in a labyrinth. This image from CNN conveys it well.
So... here are a few of my lessons from this most weird, painful and challenging year... in no particular order...
Lament and hope are mixed together in such a way, that allow for the discipline of one’s brain to depend on God for both. They are twin sisters that look different but are the same sometimes. And can co-exist at the same time, mixing like coffee and milk.
The time with family is precious. Living under the same roof does not necessarily lead to quality time. Time for sitting in the sun is precious. Time for having meaningful conversations without the sound of a tv is a treasure. Time to cook for beloved ones brings joy.
I can’t do everything. There is a need to slow down and to look at the mixing of colors between the trees and the sky. I can’t be everything. I need to discern the gifts that God has given me and use them in a focused way. Then I will know how to ask others for help and to invited them to community in order to build the kin-dom of God in the communion table… as it should be.
Music and art are a gracious gift from God. I knew music was oxygen… but I need to make time to live and communicate graphically. As a visual person, that sees the hands of God everywhere, I knew of the power of images to communicate… and I need to make efforts not to depend on words so much and to capture what I see in order to express my dreams for the world.
Revolutions without revelations cannot enact real change. Revelations without revolutions are in the end blind. There is a need to change hearts and systems. There is a need for pastoral care and for social justice. Jesus cared for the Samaritan woman, but also challenged the governments and principalities that judged her. Revolutions change contexts, revelations change minds.
There are needs in the world that are invisible to me. They are not part of my reality… but… that just means that I really need to open my eyes to see it. With privilege comes great responsibility. Life challenges us to be aware, to be connected to, to interact, to relate, to emphasize with one another’s realities, needs, passions, hopes, struggles, dreams and needs. So I will always need to learn, to listen, and to act in ways that lead to inclusion, to love and to grace.
And… the lesson that is always there… depend on God… learn from Jesus… and allow the Holy Spirit to lead your way. Always.